Lakeshore Baptist Church, on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, serves as a mission trip destination for churches and groups seeking to provide help and hope in the name of Jesus Christ. The church launched the ministry following hurricane Katrina in 2005. Predictions included a decade of rebuilding and recovery for the community hit by the devastating storm. As that 10 year mark approaches, the church endeavors to complete their newly constructed church building, as well as continue their ministry to the community.
From launch, the ministry always involved more than disaster relief. Volunteers partnering with Rebuild Lakeshore provide spiritual, emotional, and physical help to those in need. Over the last several years the church has begun moving past the direct needs produced by Hurricane Katrina into wider mercy ministry opportunities.
One such project focuses on a house begun by a Michigan based organization called “Heavenly Housing.” A couple of years ago, they handed the construction baton off to us and we have been slowly working on the property between other projects. Over spring break we hosted a couple of teams, both from Pennsylvania. They made great progress on the house, finishing sheet rock, hanging doors, painting, running the sewer line, installing the HV/AC, and more. We hope to finish the house soon. I can’t wait to see a family living in it. We still need to lay the flooring, set the toilets and sinks, and a few other things.
Meanwhile, the work on the church building continues. While we have been using the building for worship since January, the punch list is still long. This summer’s calender remains pretty wide open. If you would like to make a mission trip where your efforts will make a lasting difference in a ministry dedicated to see people helped and God glorified, we would love to have you.
I remember saying “We have a long hard road of recovery ahead.” I do not think I understood how long and how hard that road would be. Someone said it would take at least a decade of rebuilding for our community to recover. I do not know if I believed them, but God has somehow granted the compulsion to keep moving forward; one step at a time. I guess that comes with the whole “walk by faith, not by sight” thing. One step, and then another, and then another, and here we are, less than 6 months before that 10 year mark. From the back seat, are we there yet?
Hurricane Katrina hit August 29, 2005. Thousands and thousands of you have walked beside us down this road. I hate to call it a finish line, because another road lies ahead around the bend. Katrina relief may wrap up, but mercy ministry never ends, until Christ returns. I guess we do need to put a mile marker in somewhere. As August 29,2015 fast approaches, we still have a lot to do. Would you come and help for one final push?
This summer we need to wrap up the finishing touches on the new church building. We also need to put in a parking lot. I’d love to finally do some landscaping. All the temporary structures that comprised our relief, recovery, and rebuilding camp needs to be decommissioned and dismantled. The task list is long, but as always, that means no matter what you can do, God has a place where you can make a real difference here.
Do you have a mission trip planned for this summer yet? Please consider coming back to Lakeshore, lend a hand in the last leg of the journey, rejoice in the progress that you were a part of, and see how far God has brought this community for His glory.